Prompt: The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Almost like a scene in a movie, it was the last inning, there were two outs, and my team was one run from tieing the game. The last thing we could do, was allow this team to beat us. My anxious, sweaty, and exhausted thirteen year old self waited on third base for the next batter to take her turn. I was aware and frightened by the fact that either a home run or my slide into home base was what could tie this game. To my luck, my teammate hit the fast coming pitch and I had to run to home plate. "We practiced sliding nearly a thousand times, you can do this. It's just a simple slide" I thought. That "simple slide" was overturned when the catcher caught the ball in her mitt, and tagged me out.
I could see the disappointment in everyone's face. My coach gave a long sigh, and we packed our supplies and exited the footprint covered field. "Don't cry it's just a game, you'll do better next time" I said to myself . However, my team's sorrowful faces have been already been chiseled in my memory like an engraving on a stone. What did I do wrong? From this moment on, my confidence plummeted for the rest of the season and well into my high school years.
Before that softball game, my confidence was at a reasonable level. I performed as a main character in my elementary school play, I spoke publically with ease, and I was not afraid to try new things. Since the softball game, whenever I am asked to speak in front of a large group of people, I instantly recall the time I failed the team. The fear of bringing other people, especially myself, down has haunted me for years now. There are some memories that one can never remember, and other random, unimportant ones that stick with people for the rest of their lives. My failure was one of them.
From that point on, I thought nothing could break me out of the shell that has been containing me for years. However, last year, in 11th grade, I decided to perform at my school's annual World Culture Night. During practices I would constantly try to avoid messing up. I refused to be the one to butcher this routine. A guilty pleasure of mine is dancing, so when practicing with my partner, I enjoyed every second of it. In the meantime, practice after practice, my anxiety was building.
The night arrived and I prepared to walk on stage. I took deep breaths and prepared for showtime. The stage lights were about to illuminate the stage and almost as if in slow motion, I saw myself losing the game again. However, this time, instead of filling me with fear, composure was bestowed upon me. I smiled and danced my heart out that night. Happiness and excitement replenished my body. From this day on, I learned to never let a small mistake bring me down again. I must be myself, and do what makes me happy, not others. People make mistakes, it's what you do with that mistake to better yourself. Dance, play, or speak your heart out, only you could bring yourself down.
I am human, I will never be perfect. My failures are what make me who I am. Today, I am grateful I lost that softball game. It has opened my eyes to the world I have yet to face and the people I have yet to inevitably disappoint. My experience has motivated me to be myself and not worry about the fastball adversities may throw at me.